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Gas Exchange in Plants
Reactions that involve gasses
Occurs in the chloroplast
Energy produced (glucose)
Greater volumes of gasses exchanged in
Cellular respiration
Occurs in the mitochondria
Energy produced (ATP)
Where does the diffusion of
gasses occur?
Between the environment and the plant
Diffusion through the stomata
Within the plant
Gasses move in and out of the the
intercellular spaces (spongy tissue)
Passive transport
Where diffusion of
gasses occurs
O2 net movement out
CO2 net movement in
Underside of leaves
Guard cells control
whether they are open or
not (to leave them open
would be inefficient.
Link to other pictures
Guard Cells (GC)
Kidney bean shaped
Take in potassium by active transport –
stimulated by light on the leaf
Increases the particles in the cell therefore
water enters by osmosis and GC swell
opening the stomata (because outer wall is
thinner making it bulge out)
Allow minerals out of GC and thus H2O leaves
via osmosis and the stomata closes
Close the gates the water is
getting out!
Why not leave the stomata open?
For gasses to pass across the cell
membrane they must be dissolved in
 Thus a film of water must surround the
Why not leave the stomata
So plants are constantly losing water
 This loss of water is called Transpiration
 Without closing GC the plants would
become very dehydrated
Sensitivity of Stomata
Number and appearance depend on
environment conditions
Hot, dry climates with low humidity have fewer
High humidity = more stomata
Low CO2 levels = stomata open
Normal levels of CO2 = stomata relaxed
Beyond the Leaf
In the roots and stem gas
exchange occurs in the
outer layer of cells
Lenticels break though
the bark (on woody
plants) and allow air to
diffuse though
Within the plant diffusion
is used in the spongy
Gas exchange in plants is completed by
No specific organ involved